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Heat pumps prescribed for net-zero ambitions

UK: A new heating and cooling system combining air-source and ground-source heat pumps, based on 64 boreholes, is to be installed at the Queen’s Medical Centre (QMC) in Nottingham.

Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH) NHS Trust is partnering with energy supplier E.ON to deliver a 15-year energy efficiency programme that will help NUH to deliver on its ambitious environmental targets and improve staff and patient comfort.

Built and operated by E.ON, the new £15m energy centre will house four high-efficiency air-source and ground-source heat pumps, drawing heat from 64, 250m deep boreholes.

The first phase of the energy centre development will install a 4MW heat pump with 2.88MW cooling capacity to support the QMC’s existing gas turbine and standby boilers.

Phase two will increase the heat pump solution to 8MW of heating capacity – the equivalent to the heat demand of almost 4,600 average UK homes – complemented by a further 5.8MW of new cooling capacity.

The heat pumps can also recycle waste heat from the hospital’s cooling systems. Excess heat can either be saved for future use in the thermal stores within the energy centre or pumped down into the boreholes for longer term storage.

The new system will work alongside the hospital’s existing combined heat and power plant.

The total project, which includes 18,000m2 of new energy saving windows and smarter building controls, is expected to cut QMC’s carbon emissions by 10,000 tonnes of CO2 or 30% a year initially, increasing to around 43% once the current gas-fired heating system is decommissioned.

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